That was the strap-line under one of my favourite posters. It’s a picture of a water bird with a frog in its mouth. Although the frog’s head has completely disappeared, its arms are gripping tightly around the bird’s neck: Never Give Up.
When was the last time you tried something new? And then gave up after your first couple of goes because it didn’t go according to plan, it was too difficult, or it required too much effort and discipline to get good at?
We see amazing videos online of people who make beautiful crafts, delicious meals and gorgeous cakes and pastries and when we have a go, it flops.
Have you seen that YouTube video that shows you how to make a chocolate soda bottle? It looked easy enough so I decided to try it out with the kids. I bought three slabs of milk chocolate and two plastic soda bottles. The children drank the soda and then we set to work on our chocolate bottle project.
It was a complete disaster, mainly because I didn’t follow the instructions properly.
Instead of melting the chocolate bar in a glass bowl on top of a pot of boiling water, I put the chocolate directly into the pot. So, rather than get the desired runny chocolate liquid, I was left with a hard ball of burnt chocolate. Not to be outdone at the first hurdle though, I decided to have another go and it kind of worked this time. We got the chocolate melted, poured it into the plastic bottles and put them in the freezer – and that’s where we went wrong. My science was all out – the hot chocolate caused the plastic bottles to shrink right in. A few days later, we cut the squished plastic bottle off the chocolate and the children thoroughly enjoyed eating their slightly deformed chocolate bottle.
That was me done though – no more chocolate bottles. I wasn’t going to have another go at getting it right.
What we tend to forget in all of this is that those perfect YouTube videos have been created by people who’ve worked over and over and over again to get the result they want before they film their efforts.
We have one go and give up when we don’t come right. Disappointed and disillusioned, we quit before we have any chance of success.
If you enjoy something, keep working at it. Just do it for yourself. Keep tweaking, keep pushing yourself, keep trying. Never give up.
One day, you’ll try it and it’ll feel easy. One day, someone will say it looks good. One day, someone will want to buy what you made or copy what you did. One day, you’ll know for yourself that you’re good at what you do and you’re proud of what you’ve made.
It will take time though, discipline and a commitment to never give up.